Bookmark Label (optional)
Max. 20 characters
- Prologue: God Draws People to Himself
- God’s People Belong to God
- God’s People Are His Family
- God’s People Are His Church
This chapter looks at the standing or position of God’s people in relationship to God. Probably the most basic aspect of this is that they belong to God, as his people. As such the relationship between believers and God is both a strong one and a close one. This is underlined by them being his family and also his church.
These verses illustrate that the Bible teaches that God chooses some people to be his, and so to be saved. Yet the Bible also teaches that God desires and provides for the salvation of all people (cf. God invites all people to come to him and be saved). In coming to terms with this “tension” in Scripture, bear in mind that as the Bible teaches both “sides”, the truth lies in both of them, as opposed to a position that is a compromise of both.
But among them [believers] were some men from Cyprus and Cyrene who came to Antioch and began talking to the Hellenistic Jews too, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22When the church in Jerusalem heard this news, they sent Barnabas all the way to Antioch. 23When he arrived, he rejoiced to see what the grace of God had done … Acts 11:20-23a ISV
The people’s belief and turning to the Lord (v. 21b) is attributed to neither how the message was presented nor the people’s own initiative, but to the “hand of the Lord” (v. 21a) – evidencing “the grace of God” (v. 23).
[Paul, to non-Jewish believers:] Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family. Ephesians 2:19 NCV™
But to all who have received him [Jesus Christ] – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children 13– children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God. John 1:12-13 NET
Those who accept Jesus and believe in him (v. 12a) are enabled to become God’s children (v. 12b) – born of God (v. 13) into spiritual life.
[Paul, to the Ephesian church leaders:] Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. Acts 20:28 NET
The term “church” denotes an assembly or body of believers that belong to God. Additionally, it can be used more generally of God’s people as a whole – the worldwide church.
He [Jesus Christ] is the one who holds the whole building together and makes it grow into a sacred temple dedicated to the Lord. 22In union with him you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through his Spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22 GNT